GOAL 2011 held by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) in Santiago de Chile
Goal 2011 marked a major event in the Southern Hemisphere this year. And the most important facet of the program was the reports by international group of experts who examined the process of recovery of Chile’s salmon industry from the infectious salmon anemia (ISA). The study was part of an international effort to share such experiences to help prevent and mitigate similar events in the future.
“For Chile to host the GOAL meeting is especially important,” Chile’s Undersecretary for Fisheries, Pablo Galilea said. “To host outstanding business leaders from the world of aquaculture and large chain food retailers is something any country would want. In addition, the central theme of this conference is fully shared by our country: how to double production in a decade in a sustainable way. We hope that discussions in Chile help achieve this goal.”
The GOAL 2011 schedule focuses on global aquaculture investment, environmental perspectives, aquaculture disease management, emerging challenges regarding aquafeeds and the changing global markets for farmed seafood.
"We know we need to grow," GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens said, "but how do we get there? GOAL brings leaders of the various aquaculture sectors together to consider the challenges examine courses of action and, hopefully, begin to develop solutions that will set us in the right direction as we work to double aquaculture output within a decade.”
Some speakers at the conferenceDisease management-a lesson from Chile
Ricardo Garcia of Camanchaca kicked off GOAL 2011 with a keynote on "Managing Aquaculture Risks."
The forthcoming gap between seafood supply and demand is a clear call to action for aquaculture, but a variety of risk factors must be considered in the process of expansion, Garcia said
The Chilean salmon industry suffered a severe outbreak of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) in 2009. The fish production was reduced by half and 15,000 employees were made redundant. The incident, which led to a substantial restructuring of the business in Chile, became a hot topic at GOAL 2011.
Technical Director for Marine Harvest Chile, Mr. Adolfo Alvial, said the salmon industry was best performing sector with a nucleus of approximately 40 companies and more than 1,200 suppliers before the disease outbreak.
However, such rapid growth, achieved in just two decades (1980-2000), was accompanied by fundamental flaws. Insufficient knowledge of environmental and epidemiological factors, lack of integrated zone management plan and bio-security system, and inadequate regulations and resources to enforce them, etc. were just a few examples.
As a result, potential risks were arise from high stocking densities, fish escape, eggs and smolt quality, and spreading pathogen. All created favorable environments for the ISA virus to break out.
“The unity and strength of the industry is a valuable asset in pooling efforts and resources. In normal times, the private sector cannot regulate itself. All players need one common fundamental asset: Water,” Mr. José Ramón Gutiérrez, Interim President of SalmonChile, the association of salmon producers, said, summing up the lessons and experiences from the Chile’s incident.
Gorjan Nikolik from Food & Agribusiness Research Adolfo Alvial, Technical Director for
and Advisory, Rabobank International Marine Harvest Chile
Mr. José Ramón Gutiérrez, Interim GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens Mr. Pablo Galilea, Chile’s Undersecretary
for Fisheries President of SalmonChile
The world needs more seafood. “Given the projected population growth, it is estimated that at least an additional 40 millions tones of aquatic food will be required by 2030,” Mr. Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest Norway, quoted FAO Rohana Subasinghe in his speech.
“It is important that aquaculture companies implement sustainability principles as part of their quality management programs. We must focus on decreasing the dependency on marine raw materials in feed, improving fish health and a responsible approach to wild-farmed interaction,” he said Voting on the question “What do you think is the greatest risk category facing aquaculture?” most participants chose the risk of bio- sanitary and environment, at a rate of 65% of the vote.Sustalnable feed and responsibly
In the aquaculture value chain, feed ingredients, fish meal and fish oil is still a major issue of debate among the experts. However, two critical areas are taken for granted. Firstly, it is the need to demonstrate that any whole fish processed come from well managed fisheries and that there is no illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fish or fish by- products included. Secondly, it is the need to demonstrate that the production in the factory are pure, safe and the products thereof are traceable.
“There are a lot of factories which cannot achieve the Responsible Supply (RS) standard, particularly in Asia. Often the reason is the lack of fisheries management data,” said Mr. Jonathan Shepherd, representative of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil (IFFO) organization. In addition to feed derived from fish meal and fish oil, the feed with vegetable origin was also mentioned in the conference.
“The goal to double fish production in a decade also means that we must find additional sources of feed for the aquaculture industry and identify economically viable and sustainable alternatives to fish meal and fish oil,” said Dr Michael Creamer from US soybean export council.
He noted that high soy diets performed as well as 64% fishmeal diet and good performance with soy protein in diets for many species has been being researched by US soybean industry. “So, with the right ratio in ingredients, this could be the great alternative feed,” he added.Aquaculture Investment and Marketing
“Will the aquaculture sector have sufficient capital investment to double output within the next decade?”Mr. Gorjan Nikolik from Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, Rabobank International, raised a question on the dynamics, challenges and investment flows in the aquaculture industry from a banker’s view.
There is a huge demand when the global population grows to 7 billion people in 2011, and 9 billion in 2050. Meanwhile, wild catch cannot increase anymore. Therefore, aquaculture and processing industry would be the destination of investment. It is estimated that investments in the aquaculture sector would come from a diverse group of investors. The most mature fishing companies would shift to aquaculture. Those already in the aquaculture industries would invest in expanding the farmed species. Thus, there will be more fish species to become more popular, leading to a profound diversification of global market. With many possible technological improvements in the economies of scale, genetics, and feed formulations, etc, the cost curve still has the potential to decrease despite rising commodity prices. However, aquaculture will continue to be a potentially ‘asset heavy’ industry. It means the sector requires proportionally higher capital investments to be profitable in the long-term.
With the strong development of science and technology, aquaculture production may run the risk of increasing too fast and too much with volume outstripping short-term demand. In this case, price crash and market failure are unavoidable.
“Each investor type has different goals and requirements. But above all, the aquaculture sector must have the task of profiling themselves and educating potential investors about the opportunities in this industry,” said Mr. Gorjan Nikolik.
Compiled by D.T.D